What Sabrina did next**
Within a year of venomous and radical political turmoil, arguably the past has never been more popular than the present. The provocation of fascism, xenophobia, vindictive tribalism, racism, misogyny…the list goes on - for the progressives amongst us, see Salem the cat’s response…
Beyond the political sphere, the world of film and television is inevitably interlinked with the past, and this year the trope of the remastered and remade cult classic has trundled on.
On Frankie Boyle’s The American Autopsy, TV and film enthusiast Richard Osman unsurprisingly did a good job of being enthusiastic about the case for the American entertainment industry. He claimed that without the Hollywood Hills, we’d all be worse off, we’d lose much of the world class video, TV and games, and be left to wallow in the world of YouTube….
That’s not to say this pioneering vanguard of cultural zeitgeists are afraid of a remake. Or several.
This year we’ve seen Ghostbusters, and Jumanji is set to premiere in 2017. Glorious 80s nostalgia was the driving force behind the phenomenally successful Netflix original series Stranger Things. Today, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres with four new feature-length episodes. Lauren Graham, who plays the talkative and free spirited Lorelai, implored that the return of the series and its old-fashioned kindness in the sleepy fictional town of Stars Hollow, was even more necessary post the US-election result.
One of our Sky Academy Fund winner’s Yinka Ayinde will be reinventing the nineties cult class Kenan and Kel for the theatre stage in a 21st century London setting. Yinka commented “I grew up being a crazy fan of Kenan and Kel… I even still watch episodes now!”
And in the spirit of nostalgia, we recently asked some grandparents to review the lastest Harry Potter film! They pegged the movie as a quasi-magical world consisting of a "totally boring" routine of violent explosions, gently osciallting amongst some deceptively pink and fluffy - but mostly "nasty" - animals...
Our golden oldies certainly brought a new perspective to the tirade of modern-day blockbusters, and it's unsurprising that recent scientific thought has stressed the galvanising power of nostalgic escapism. It can generate psychological benefits and positive emotions such as self-regard, social connectedness and optimism about the future. (on the flipside, it can work the other way too…see the opening paragraph re. potential death of humanity)
But sometimes remakes improve on the original; in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast reboot featuring Emma Watson, Belle has been granted a… ‘backstory’ (she’s a lucky girl!) Belle in 2016 has invented a new kind of washing machine so that instead of working as a laundry maid she can use that precious time to indulge her passion for books and reading instead! *snaps for Belle*
Ultimately, it's a tricky line to navigate between contemporary revival and homage to a revered classic. More often than not, remakes are subjected to fans and critics alike bemoaning their inadequacy. But...what goes around, comes around; as those Hollywood stalwarts know full well (their bank balances will attest to this), underestimate the cathartic power of a trip down memory lane, and you're missing the oldest trick in the book!...no pun intended.
**until there is a remake of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, we sadly might NEVER know what Sabrina did next. Until then satiate yourself with all the social media candyfloss imaginable of her magical finger, zany aunts and Salem Saberhagen...there really will never be a 90s favourite TV witch quite like her.